Friday, July 31, 2015

Jayhawks predicted to extend Big 12 title streak

Kansas coach Bill Self records the Team USA players during the medal ceremony after their double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Kansas coach Bill Self records the Team USA players during the medal ceremony after their double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.


Kansas University’s basketball team will win its 12th consecutive regular-season Big 12 title this season, predicted on Friday.

Basketball writer Matt Norlander tapped KU ahead of Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor, West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and TCU.

He reserved the right to change his picks, however, if highly touted 6-foot-9 freshman Cheick Diallo is ineligible this season.

“The issue in question here is Diallo’s prep school, Our Savior New American School, which is located on the eastern side of Long Island. Did the coursework Diallo endure while at OSNAS qualify him for immediate eligibility at KU? It seems no, but the NCAA is still going through the case and deciding,” Norlander wrote at the Web address:

Some of Our Savior New American’s past players have had eligibility issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Incoming Alabama freshman Kobe Eubanks committed to Baylor last year but ultimately attended prep school after being declared ineligible. Diallo, a native of Mali, came to the U.S. in 2012 and attended Our Savior three years.

“I don’t know yet. Hopefully soon,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World Friday when asked when he’d learn Diallo’s status for this season.

Asked about Diallo on Monday at the Mario V. Chalmers golf tournament, Self said: “Cheick’s been here about three weeks now. Everybody loves him. He’s great as far as being responsible and respectful. He can play his butt off and plays with such energy. I’m excited to work with him. I’ve only had a chance to watch him work out since I’ve been back (from South Korea and World University Games). Certainly he gets me fired up.”

Of his eligibility case, Self said on July 15: “He’s still going through all the stuff (paperwork filed with the NCAA Clearinghouse). It’s good to have him here. Hopefully that stuff will go well with everything (and he’ll qualify). He’s a great kid and terrific talent. People here will love him.”

Diallo is ranked No. 5 in the recruiting Class of 2015 by

“Diallo is a five-star player (and McDonald’s All-America Game MVP), probably one of the 10 best incoming freshmen in the sport,” Norlander wrote Friday. “Having/not having Diallo could potentially put Kansas from auto-Big 12 winner to at least questionable favorite. Having Carlton Bragg, another freshman, there to help out Perry Ellis in the paint will be critical.”

More from CBS: Norlander says KU’s Ellis, ISU’s Georges Niang, OU’s Buddy Hield and Baylor’s Rico Gathers figure to battle it out for Big 12 player of the year. ... Norlander says some coaches in the league will be on the hot seat this season. “Realistically, the worst-case scenario for coaching turnover come April is three of the 10 teams opting to make changes, but I doubt we see that many,” he wrote. “Still, Oklahoma State (Travis Ford), Kansas State (Bruce Weber) and TCU (Trent Johnson) are the teams to watch in regard to this. None of the three are expected to reach the NCAA Tournament in 2016, so we’ll likely see at least one head coach be shown the door.”

Frogs arena ready: TCU’s basketball team will play in the newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena this season, the school announced this week. The Schollmaiers provided the lead gift for $72 million worth of renovations to Daniel-Meyer Arena. The entire area will now be known as Daniel-Meyer Athletic Complex.

At a news conference, TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said as relayed by TCU Athletics on Twitter: “This will be the finest arena in the Big 12 Conference. I can assure you of that.”

The TCU men’s and women’s basketball programs are receiving new locker rooms and team meeting rooms as well as an expanded sports medicine center. There will also be locker rooms for visiting teams and a new video board. There also will be a TCU Athletics Hall of Fame on the concourse level.


Gavin Fritton 7 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone have any insight on Diallo? I'm starting to get kinda nervous.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

The performance of Mickelson and Lucas in the WUG has tempered some of my concern. Not having Diallo will not be the end of the world this year. It may be the best thing for him and the Hawks, if he takes a year to refine his game as did BMac.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 2 months ago

Losing Diallo may not be the end of the world, but it certainly diminishes our chances at a NC - which for some is the end of the world.

As for the root of the article, we should be solid favorites to notch #12 this year regardless of his eligibility. There's plenty of depth in the front court to win the conference. In fact there has been some discussion already regarding who is left out this year because we do have so much depth.

It would also be great if he could be a scout team 5 with this year's team, and come back to dominate next year. It could make Ben's year look pedestrian. After having multiple MVP awards tho, it's not unreasonable to expect him to declare in April 2016 whether he plays or not.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

Suzi I disagree - with Dallio everything for this team is on the table, B12, NCAA it is all within reach.

Without him the B12 is within reach but that is it. Accolades aside Hunter and Landon's skill sets are 2 notches below Diallos. He changes the way teams will have to play us, how to run their offenses, the whole ball of wax. Not one single team is going to have to do anything special for Hunter or Landon.

Kudos to those two for the improvements they have made but it is not even close to covering for Diallo being ineligible. We go from could be great to should be good.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 2 months ago

Even without Diallo playing a minute in college I would say Hunter and Landon are probably closer to three notches below Diallo. If KU has to rely on those two for extended minutes it will be another quick out in the tourney.

Jerry Collins 7 years, 2 months ago

We've heard this before. We have to have this ONE guy to lead us to the promise land, most recently Alexander. I Like what we have to get the job done.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

The problem is that every time we have said that and NOT had "that guy" Kansas has failed to make it to the promised land. They have frequently even failed to make it there when they DID have "that guy".

I fully believe that there isn't a "problem" with Diallo and that he will be available for KU but not having Diallo would make it infinitely more difficult to make a Final Four and beyond run. Impossible? No but very, very unlikely.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

And Jerry since we keep missing the promised land what we have is not enough, you cannot stand pat and get there. Especially with this bunch.

Wake up and smell the coffee, to get there we need Diallo. Not sure who thought Alexander was the answer, not me, but I will take the MOP of the two major All star tourneys this year, cited for his defense and play on both sides of the floor. He is going to help a lot and make everyone a little better. Got to have him to compete for a NC.

Sorry but that is just the way it is this year.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

Diallo sounds like a scandal waiting to happen. Hope his eligibility issues do not lead to wins being vacated at the end of next season.

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

I tend to agree with Suzi on this one. Winning a National Championship has so much to do with momentum, health, matchups, chemistry and other factors, together with talent and skill. If those stars align, I think we have enough talent to compete for a NC without Diallo. Having said that, if he is found legitimately eligible, he looks like he could easily become our most productive 5. Even if we only get him for part of the season, it could be a nice lift.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 2 months ago

In some ways similar to Jojo. With him, we were a strong candidate for the NC. Without, a second round exit. Would actually be better to have the minutes for the others to develop during the year vs. suddenly losing a frontline starter in March.

It's always interesting to me to read people's comments on our tournament performances lately with no acknowledgement of the player losses at the end of the year. But life does go on.

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it's similar, but I just think that we're much more experienced at every other position than we were two years ago. Mason is without question superior to Tharpe, Selden and Perry are two years older, and our backups may be much better. And like you said, losing a player for the whole season isn't as bad as losing one in March. I agree that our personnel losses have hurt us the last two years, it would have been fun to see what we could have done with our full roster, especially two years ago.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm not ready to declare the sky is falling after seeing this team perform so well in Korea without Diallo, Graham, Greene and Svi but losing Diallo would be a significant loss.

I think Mickelson was reaching that third-year point where so many players in the past seem to make their largest gains from previous seasons. Bragg is going to be a big-time player and I think he will be better than Ellis was in his first year and maybe Lucas can step up big but I would really like to see Diallo in uniform dominating the low post.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

I would assume that the vast majority of incoming players at KU are rarely cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse at this time of year. Especially ones that had any type of irregularity (from outside the US or attended multiple high schools. I am not even remotely concerned about this right now and won't be until about one week before fall practice starts more than TWO MONTHS from now.

Michael Johnson 7 years, 2 months ago

Sheesh...I'm glad there will be lockers for the visiting teams at Baylor.

John Randall 7 years, 2 months ago

Are the eligibility questions about Diallo of long standing or a new development? Is this something that can be cleared up before second semester?

Jeff Foster 7 years, 2 months ago

I heard the NCAA is investigating whether Diallo's parents knew anything about Cliff Alexander's mom accepting any loan money AND if when they were teenagers they knew anything about Larry Brown paying for a plane ticket for Archie Marshall. Whole thing should be wrapped up in about 6 months, judging by past investigations.

Chris Bruning 7 years, 2 months ago

I'd throw Wayne Selden in the mix for POY! Beast mode!

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

And Mason for sure! He very well may be the best player on the best team!

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

Careful there Chris, Marshawn Lynch has trademarked Beast Mode® for his clothing line. Hate to see you get caught up in any copyright issues.

Phil Leister 7 years, 2 months ago

Gary, there's no such thing as the NCAA Clearinghouse anymore. It's known as the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Humpy Helsel 7 years, 2 months ago

I find it hard to believe TCU would let Trent Johnson go unless they believe the new arena allows them to land a big name coach. Looks like he has done well with essentially nada. Would it be fair to do that after the labor he has put in without such facilities? Bruce, however, may be in trouble. Rico Gathers? Seems like that guy has been there 5 years already and he looked like he was 25 years old three years ago. So TCU allegedly now will have the nicest facilities in the Big 12(10)! I'll put our mixture of old and new, our dripping tradition and crowd, and I don't even have to throw in the original rules of basketball and the new facilities to hold them, to match anything TCU can throw into the argument.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 2 months ago

Their's will be shiny new, so they have to say that, whether there is any credibility or not, but you are spot on, especially when factoring in the crowd.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you guys. Trent Johnson has done a heck of a job of building a basketball program that was once more suited for the SWAC or the Southland conferences than the BIG 12.

Maybe the new stadium will sway some recruits towards TCU but the smarter players look past the glitter when making life altering choices.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure why TCU renovated their arena when they could have built a brand new one. I'm also not a big fan of renaming arenas.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 2 months ago

Man, this doesn't sound good. I mean I had heard some rumor before but hadn't paid it a lot of attention, after he got here on campus, and started classes I though everything was pretty much cool. The more I read and this is the 1st time I've heard Coach Self come out and actually say that he didn't know yet for sure about Cheick's status for the season, then I now start getting nervous, the article states it doesn't look like his work is good enough to be ready for the season - - - - - NOT GOOD. hopefully this all turns out well ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Marc Frey 7 years, 2 months ago

Why are kids attending this Academy if the classes they take do not qualify them to attend a D-1 University?

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

"The entire area will now be known as Daniel-Meyer Athletic Complex."

When the Hawks come to town, the entire area will be known as AFH South....

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

Talk about compromising our integrity. We’re trying to get an athlete with questionable academic credentials eligible even though he has no intention of becoming a sophomore. I don’t know why we call it amateur athletics.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

College is supposed to prepare one for the professional work place, correct? Some professions require more college than others, correct? If someone's chosen profession is basketball, there is a variable amount of college required to pursue this profession, correct? If within basketball, someone chooses to pursue playing in the NBA, the NBA has requirements for entry. If players don't like this option, there are other ways to earn a living playing basketball.

This really isn't significantly different than a lot of other major corporations that require perspective employees to complete an internship to determine if a person is qualified to work for them. There are often thousands more applicants than available positions just like the NBA and other professional leagues.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

Seriously? College is first and foremost an institution of higher learning, not a vocational school. This is clearly an instance where the parties involved are circumventing the reason why college exists in the first place. In order for it not to be, basketball would have to be an actual college major.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Universities are not vocational schools, got it. I'll be sure to let all accountants, lawyers, doctors, and so on know they didn't receive any vocational training in college.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

College is something different to everyone. Some see it as an institute of higher learning, others as a tool to prepare for a career. There is no one universal definition of the role of a university.

Bob Zielinski 7 years, 2 months ago

With some of our eligibility issues being so drawn out and coming up unfavorably for us in recent years I think we are owed/due to get Diallo eligible for the upcoming season.

Micky Baker 7 years, 2 months ago

Anyone believe that the NCAA would have cleared him already if he chose Duke or UK? It seems that the NCAA has it out for certain kids and they take their sweet time getting things taken care of. If he's already filled out all the paperwork, this should take only a couple of weeks to know which would be the fair way to handle this. It is quite likely Diallo had no knowledge of the issues at the school on Long Island. If there was this concern, much of it could have been taken care of this summer at Kansas. NCAA is stonewalling.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Kentucky is still waiting to here on Skal Labissiere's eligibility and never got Enes Kanter cleared to play.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like Schollmaier Arena really is the first of its kind! It even has a locker room for visiting teams!

Glen Miller 7 years, 2 months ago

This is getting a bit ridiculous..... when these kids are going to 3 or 4 different schools, what can you expect. It has become more about the basketball than the grades for these top ranked high school kids. These schools are quick to push them through the system to win them titles, but don't take care of the educational side of it and here we sit, waiting to find out till mid season if a kid is eligible or not.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

No doubt. It really shouldn't take much time to determine someone's eligibility.

NCAA Eligibility Rules State that student-athletes will need to meet athletic and academic requirements for the division they wish to compete in/ Requirements will include:

Meeting core course requirements specific to NCAA division I or division II. Meeting grade-point averages on a sliding scale when compared to ACT and SAT test scores for NCAA division I or meeting grade and test requirements for division II. Completion of Amateurism certificate.

If there are issues other than eligibility then I can see the delay but 6 mo for the above? It is as you say Glenn 'ridiculous'.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Didn't Diallo go to just this one high school? What is the complaint here? It's more than two months before practice starts.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

No idea Benz...kind of hoped you had some info.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

He attended Our Saviour Lutheran Church for his entire three year HS basketball career and then graduated. No idea to why there are ANY problems.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 2 months ago

Good read:

Lists Diallo as the 24th best player next year in the NCAA. If he gets cleared.

  1. Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas – MVP of the McDonald’s All-Star game (18 points, 10 rebounds) is bouncy and active, but far from polished offensively. Probably will have much more impact as a freshman than highly-touted Cliff Alexander did last year.

Also 35th Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and 18th Perry Ellis on that list w/Bragg just missing

Rich Hetherington 7 years, 2 months ago

I find it interesting that they say Perry has no range... and here, I thought he was pretty good with mid-range shots, and not a bad 3 shooter for his size, and both of those aspects of his game could still improve. I do like seeing Svi make that list though. I'm very excited to see what he brings to the table this year!

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